Holiday meals and get togethers with non-vegans can be tough for many of us. For me, I am finding it increasingly difficult to sit down to a meal where there are dead animals on others plates.
I have asked other vegan friends about their feelings and what they do in these situations. Some have decided not to partake in friends/family holiday get togethers at all. Others have started to host the get togethers in their own homes where only vegan food will be served, this way they can still spend time with their non-vegan families and friends but in a setting they are comfortable with.
How about work holiday get togethers where you know there will be dead animals being served. As I stated earlier it is becoming difficult and loathsome. I really want to be included in these get togethers but find it hard to stay quiet when the conversation turns to conversation about their meals.
I am struggling with what to do. My husbands family Christmas get together is sometimes the only day of the year that we see the entire family, some 30+ people. It is always a day filled with lots of laughter and catching up, and missing out on that would be terribly sad. So we suck it up, and try our best to ignore the massive turkey that is being carved up for all to see. But by sucking it up, I mean I want to scream at the top of my lungs "Don't you see that she/he was a living being just like you? Your dog, your cat?"
This of course applies to all situations where animals are being served, but when you say something you know it's going to be awkward, and now you are the difficult vegan imposing your beliefs...so you stay quiet, keep the peace.
I am scared we may alienate ourselves, lose friendships that we have had for years. Already some of our friendships have drastically changed since becoming vegan, and it breaks our heart to know some friends would rather not hang out with us just because we are vegan.
So what do we do? Do we continue to eat with non-vegans? Only host dinners at our home? We already have a rule that no animals products can be brought into our home, but some people still do it, and we sit there silently not saying anything for fear of damaging that relationship.
I do not have any answers, these are my own thoughts, fears, and questions. How long before we stop participating in such situations, I don't know, but I know I am getting very close to my limit on what I can tolerate.
All I can offer up are these wonderful companies that are making vegan holiday dinner alternatives such as The Very Good Butchers, Gardein, Sol Cuisine, Yves, Tofurkey. Locally in Ottawa there is Little Jo Berry's, Hot Potato Co, and The Green Door.
Whether you stay at home and host or bring these alternatives to gatherings, make sure to buy extra to share so the non-vegans can see that plant based holiday meals can be just as good as the traditional (animal) dinners they are so accustomed to.
Once again, thanks for sticking with me, these blogs posts seem to be a lot longer than I intend! Also, I would love some feedback on what you do for meal gatherings with your friends and family.